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Contact Tracing & Case Investigation

SuperFrog wearing a face mask

What happens when a student reports a positive test to TCU?

When a positive COVID-19 case is reported to TCU, the TCU COVID-19 response team initiates case investigation and contact tracing to support campus members and to prevent further transmission by separating those at risk. This page outlines TCU’s case investigation process, contact tracing processand notification procedures for instructors when a student reports a positive test.

Case Investigation Process

Positive Test reported to TCU Investigator interviews COVID-positive individual and contact tracing begins. Dean of Students notifies instructor of verified absence Housing/Residence Life contacts student for isolation, care arrangements • Hall directors remain in contact with student for support services TCU EOC* sends courtesy notification to the instructor if student was in class while infectious Options for instructor: • Share a seating chart with investigators (if you have one) • Inform your class, but not required; close contacts will be notified separately Facilities initiates additional disinfecting protocols if needed

* The TCU EOC (Emergency Operations Center) is a team of TCU staff members supporting the university's COVID-19 response, led by the TCU Office of Emergency Management.

Contact Tracing Process

A vital part of Case Investigation is contact tracing. With a positive test, investigators identify “close contacts” — defined by the CDC as an individual who has been within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period with a COVID-positive individual. The process looks like this:

When a student is identified as a close contact, they will be notified by TCU case investigators. Based on university records, is the student up-to- date on vaccinations? NO STUDENT IS UNVACCINATED OR NOT UP-TO-DATE ON VACCINES Student is required to quarantine for at least 5 days after last close contact (day of exposure is day 0) and is not allowed at university activities. Student is directed to notify instructor using email from investigator. After leaving quarantine, student should continue wearing a mask for an additional 5 days. Do symptoms develop? NO Student is advised to test at least 5 days after exposure and monitor for symptoms for 10 days after last close contact YES Student is advised to: • Test as soon as possible • Remain quarantined following CDC guidelines• Notify TCU of results using the online report form YES STUDENT IS UP-TO-DATE ON ALL VACCINES OR HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID IN THE LAST 90 DAYS USING A VIRAL TEST AND RECOVERED Student is notified and advised to test at least 5 days after exposure and monitor for symptoms for 10 days after last close contact Do symptoms develop? NO If not symptomatic, vaccinated individuals continue to wear mask and are not required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms YES Student is advised to: • Test as soon as possible • Remain quarantined following CDC guidelines • Notify TCU of results using the online report form

What kind of notification will instructors receive?

In the event of a student testing positive for COVID-19, instructors may receive any of the three different notification emails from TCU outlined below:

If a student is in quarantine:

  • The Dean of Students Office does not notify instructors if a student must quarantine, but the student is advised to notify all their instructors.
  • They should follow CDC recommended quarantine guidelines.
  • Instructors may require to see the quarantine email that is sent to the student by the TCU EOC or contact covidresponse@tcu.edu to confirm their absence.